We’ve all seen those glamorous hair commercials with beautiful models telling us how to fix to dry hair with the product they are advertising. Am I right? Talk about beauty product overload! Those models in the commercials can convince just about anyone that they have the miracle for how to fix dry hair, or make hair long and smooth. Or maybe you’ve tried those old wive's tale remedies. You know what I mean don’t you? Mayonnaise masks, olive oil treatments, and even a beer rinse have been sworn to be the cure-all for how to fix dry hair overnight, but guess what? Most of them don’t work, or they leave your hair unevenly conditioned or oily and even stinky! If you struggle with dryness, brittleness, breakage or just want smoother strands, read on to find out how to fix dry hair efficiently, cost-effectively and quickly.
1. Give It a Night off
Your hair does not need to be washed every night and for those of us who need to fix dry hair quickly, washing can exacerbate the dryness issue further. If you can’t stand the idea of an unwashed head, then simply condition hair and scrub your head as if you are washing it. Just leave out the shampoo step and rinse as normal. This will invigorate the nerves in your scalp, and make you actually feel as if it is washed without drying it out through shampooing. Conditioning should be done daily, but washing should only be done every other night or every two nights if you can stand it.
2. Try Argan Oil
Okay, so there is one product that does live up to the hype to help dry hair, and it doesn’t cost a fortune. Argan oil can help fix dry hair very quickly by offering specific emollients that make hair soft, silky and shiny. You don’t have to buy expensive brands either. Buy a basic one such as Organix brand argan oil hair treatment and apply a dime- sized amount after washing or wetting hair if you’re not washing your hair that day. Simply spread it through your hair and comb through your head with one of those large plastic combs from the dollar store or beauty store. Argan oil will not make dry hair greasy, but will instead help hair to slowly absorb moisture from the oils, giving it a soft sheen and silky feel.
3. Don’t Brush Your Hair so Much
Brushing our hair may feel good, but the old saying of we need to brush it 100 times a day to make it healthy is not true! Finger comb your hair to prevent breakage from brushes. Finger-combing your hair can help distribute natural oils from your scalp, down to your hair shafts so you create a natural moisture treatment, just with your hands!
4. No Product - What-so-ever
This is so important! Hair spray is silky hair’s arch enemy! Gels and mousses are also filled with ingredients that dry out your hair further. Your hair does not need hairspray to stay in place or make your hair pretty. What it needs is some serious conditioning. Try using two types of conditioner in the shower, one being a regular conditioner to compliment normal shampooing, and then use a second conditioner such as an thicker and heavier conditioning hair mask treatment in the shower. Inexpensive ones with natural shea butter crème work really well. Rinse and dry as normal.
5. Pop Fish Oil Pills
Fish oil pills are touted for many benefits such as weight loss, a natural anti-depressant, great skin, etc. One common overlooked benefit of this product is its ability to moisturize your hair to prevent and correct dryness. It isn’t a cure-all but it does help. Fish oil contains Omega 3 fatty acids which lubricate our joints, hair, skin and prevents inflammation. Be sure to get enough healthy fats in your diet and try using fish oil for two months and note the changes. Be sure to buy one that is purified though so you don’t expose yourself to harmful ingredients in cheaper brands.
6. Only Buy Products Made from Natural Ingredients
Many inexpensive, popular brands offer ingredients like avocado oil, shea butter, or olive oil in their shampoos and conditioners. Two great ones are Garnier and Organix among many others. Avoid brands that have too many chemicals or drying agents such as Sodium Lauryl Sulfate can harm your hair. Buy one without sulfates if possible.
7. Go Natural
Don’t dye your hair, give it any chemical treatments or the like. Your hair needs rest and conditioning. That’s it. Try taking a break from coloring your hair for six months in order to tell a difference. Your hair will remarkably repair itself once you leave it alone for the most part.
8. Hot Oil Treatment
You can buy hot oil treatments at any drugstore. They are a great way to hydrate your strands and restore moisture to help keep them from drying out. To do the procedure, you soak the oil packet in hot water, then massage it into your scalp and hair, all the way to the ends. Then you allow it to do its magic for several minutes before rinsing and styling as usual. Easy enough, right?
9. Be Gentle
Just like you need to use care when brushing your hair, you must treat it very gently at all times when it's dry. Dry hair is more prone to breakage, which means you must use caution to keep it from snapping. When you style your hair, be careful with elastics and headbands so they don't snag and tip your dry hair. When you lather in the shampoo or other products, be sure you do so very gently. Rubbing too vigorously can lead to broken strands.
10. Condition after Washing
Conditioner is formulated to hydrate your hair so it's not a product you should be skipping. Even if you don't wash every day, you should still condition your hair each time you get it wet in the shower. Look for a conditioner that is designed for dry hair, which is an easy way to combat the condition. Make sure you use enough to coat all of your hair. Allow it soak in for a couple or minutes before rinsing.
11. Skip Heat Styling
If you're a slave to your flat iron or hot rollers, it might be time to give them a rest. Heat styling sucks the moisture out of your hair, leaving it dry. If it's already dry, continuing to heat style can make the situation even worse. Taking some time off from the heat can help restore your hairs luster and shine. Talk to your stylist about looks you can do without heat, but that you still love.
12. Stop Getting Treatments
Do you have your hair permed or relaxed often? This is another big time culprit behind dry hair. Even if you want the look that these treatments get you, it's a good idea to take some time off to give your hair a chance to recover. You can likely find an alternative method of getting the look you crave without pumping your hair full of drying chemicals and products.
13. Try an Egg Mask
Eggs can do wonders for dried out hair. Experts suggest whipping an egg with warm water and applying the mixture to your hair. Massage it in and allow it to sit for several minutes. Then rinse with warm water. Be sure you don't get the water too hot or the egg will start to cook. The eggs have hydrating properties that will soak into your hair, helping restore healthy moisture levels in each strand.
14. Use Coconut Oil
Coconut oil has gotten a lot of good press lately for its beauty benefits. Many people rave about how wonderful it is for the skin, but it also works wonders for your hair. Just like you would with argan oil or a hot oil treatment, simply warm the oil a bit, then massage it gently into your hair. Cover and let it sit for a while, then rinse well with warm water.
15. Eat Right
Your relies on certain vitamins and minerals to stay healthy and hydrated. If you're battling dry hair, you might see huge improvements simply by making small tweaks to your meal plan. Eat foods with healthy fats, which your hair needs to stay healthy and shiny. Salmon, nuts, seeds and avocado are great choices. You also need protein, so eat lean meats, beans and low-fat dairy foods to help meet your needs.
Next time you’re shopping for hair products for how to fix dry hair, don’t be tempted to put everything that offers you hope in your shopping cart. Remember these 7 tips and lighten the load on yourself. Dry hair is easily manageable without buying the latest product in the spotlight or emptying your bank account into a promise that may or may not work.
Have you tried any of these tips and seen results, or do you have a tip to share?
This article written in collaboration with editor, Eliza Martinez